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Magistrate for Judge Michael P. Kelbley Seneca County Common Pleas Court
-The University of Toledo College of Law (Graduated: December, 2003): Juris Doctor
-Eastern Michigan University (Graduated: December,1999): Bachelor of Business Administration
-Mohawk High School: (Graduated: May, 1995): High School Diploma
- Work Experience
Training and Experience:
-Current Magistrate for Seneca County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael P. Kelbley handling the domestic relations docket, bond and arraignment hearings, legal research, and preparing decisions. I actively participate and am certified in the Seneca County PIVOT Drug Court Program.
-Served as acting Judge for Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court presiding over the civil docket, criminal bond and arraignments, preliminary hearings, pleas and sentencings, and signing of search warrants and arrest warrants for law enforcement, being available day or night.
-Served as the City of Tiffin Assistant Prosecutor handling criminal cases consisting of court trials, jury trials, various motion hearings, and appellate cases.
-Owned and operated my own private law practice from 2004-2018. My practice consisted of criminal defense work, domestic relations cases, business law, guardianships, adoptions, and estate planning.
-Elected to three terms as Seneca County Treasurer serving as Seneca County's chief investment officer, administrator of delinquent tax collections, and managing property tax escrow account. I served as the county banker, handled real estate tax collection, and investor of local funds. As the Treasurer, I was responsible for helping to implement the Seneca County Land Reutilization Corporation, (Land Bank) to demolish abandoned and blighted properties in Seneca County, and worked with the Seneca County Prosecutor to accelerate the foreclosure process for abandoned and blighted properties utilizing the Seneca County Board of Revision.
-Certified Public Accountant in the State of Ohio since 2002
-Licensed Attorney in the State of Ohio since 2004
-Former Tiffin-Seneca County United Way Board Member
-Former Promedica Fostoria Hospital Board Member
-Member of Rotary Club of Tiffin
-Volunteer for various other community charitable organizations and events
-Parishioner of All Saints Parish, New Riegel Ohio
I feel that a Judge should be fair and impartial and independent without any appearance of bias and not beholden to any groups of people or organizations. Therefore, I have not sought out any endorsements from any individuals or organizations. I have not held large fundraising efforts, instead I have hosted opportunities for Seneca County Residents to meet me, ask questions, and to be more informed.
- Bar Association Ratings
List your judicial experience (courts and years)
-Seneca County Common Pleas Court Magistrate from January of 2019-Present
-Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court Acting Judge from July of 2019-November of 2021
What non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?
I am the current Magistrate for Judge Michael P. Kelbley and for over three years I have been handling the domestic relations docket, bond and arraignment hearings, conducting legal research, preparing legal decisions, handling administrative functions, and participating in and have been certified in the PIVOT Drug Court.
I have been an acting Judge for Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court, handling the civil docket, bond and arraignments, preliminary hearings, and pleas and sentencings. I have signed search warrants and arrest warrants for law enforcement.
I have been a City of Tiffin Assistant Prosecuting Attorney handling criminal cases, consisting of court trials, jury trials, various motion hearings, and appellate cases.
I also have the added experience from having my own private law practice from 2004-2018. I have handled everything from criminal defense work, domestic relations cases, business law, to estate planning. I was the former Seneca County Treasurer and was elected to three terms. As an elected official, I fully understand how the county operates. To assist with budgeting processes, I am also a Certified Public Accountant.
All of this experience has given me the ability to learn, grow, and understand what it takes to be Judge.
Why are you running for this particular court seat?
Goals I have as Judge surround increasing accessibility and transparency between myself as Judge and all other parties. I will be available day or night to sign search warrants for law enforcement agencies and I will also support a system for the submission and approval of electronic warrants.
I plan on actively participating in the PIVOT Drug Court to continue providing individuals who have substance abuse addictions and want to overcome them the guidance and assistance they need.
I will work with our mental health and recovery services to explore options on improving mental health services for Defendants. This could include a mental health court which would try and stop the pattern of recidivism by helping the Defendant receive the treatment they need.
I will work to ensure the rights of all victims of crime through all stages of a criminal case. This includes making sure that all victims are made whole, and they receive their restitution. Since becoming Magistrate I have collected over $125,000 in restitution for victims of crime in Seneca County.
Seneca County Probation Services was created through a partnership with Orianna House, which allows a Judge to have more of a hands-on approach with defendants on community control. I would have weekly meetings with probation officers to review each case, ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of each person’s community control, and will address any issues quickly and effectively.
To allow for better access and transparency, I will also continue to update technology in the courtroom. During Covid, we took advantage of the grant/Covid funds and upgraded the courtrooms to allow for remote hearings to be conducted for the parties. This system has been used often which helps to save time and cost for parties.